Comcast Seattle to move analogs to digital "It's Craptastic!!"

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Zimm, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Zimm

    Zimm New Member

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    Apr 7, 2008

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    I thought everyone here would appreciate this:

    http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/brierdudley/2008/12/08/some_faqs_on_comcast_digital_s.html

    Comcast Seattle will be moving the bulk of the extended basic service teir digital and ENCRYPTING THEM!! They will force anyone currently on this teir of service to get their digital cable box. I ran the numbers for my folks in Redmond (they have 9 TV's total) and they are looking at an additional $14 per month! This assumes that Crapcast won't tack on their stupid "additional digital outlet" fee to each of the additional cable boxes.

    God I hate Comcast!!
     
  2. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    I'd really love to see our local Comcast cable system go all-digital. The bandwidth that'd free up for more programming, especially HD, would be extraordinary.
     
  3. Zimm

    Zimm New Member

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    Yeah, the extra bandwidth is nice. The problem there is that Comcast has proven that they do not know how to manage it properly. The current HD channels are so overcompressed that the macroblocking makes it almost worse then SD in some cases. I would be all for this if they:

    a. did not encrypt the digital versions of these channels so we can tune them with QAM

    b. releived some of the compression on the current HD channels

    We all know why a. will never happen. ($$$)

    We also know b. is next to impossible. They will simply add more overcompressed HD channels instead.
     
  4. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    I'd still take an overcompressed HD channel to its SD counterpart... at least we're digital simulcast here, so we're not enduring analog channel quality. Granted, we really do have most HD channels that I care about already. There might be at most 2 or 3 left that I'd like to have added to the system.
     
  5. cditty

    cditty Active Member

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    You could always write the FCC and complain. Telling them that Comcast is going to be profiting off of the digital upgrade and how it places additional charges on families when comcast in other cities aren't doing this.

    IIRC, the FCC busted Comcast in one town for doing this. It was posted here I think, but I am too lazy to search for it right now.
     
  6. Dmon4u

    Dmon4u Unresponsive User

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    It's not funny that all the Ads I've read or watched about the Digital Transition say that 'If you have Cable - You will not need a STB !'

    I now have neighbors, Friends and Family that swear they will not need an STB and they are on Comcast. Last I heard, all their systems will be fully Digital by next Summer.
     
  7. Dancar

    Dancar Member

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    Did the ads say "if you subscribe to Comcast you won't need to do anything - provide you only watch local Seattle TV"?

    I don't remember them this way either.
     
  8. ciper

    ciper Active Member

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    A good idea except the Tivo cannot do it without a cable card because they refuse to allow us to assign guide data to those channels without hacks.
     
  9. Zimm

    Zimm New Member

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    They certainly could not encrypt the channels. The channels that they are moving into digital are channels that those with extended basic are already supposed to receive as part of their service. If they broadcast those in the clear we would still be able to tune them. Yes, we would not be able to get guide data for them but that is a whole separate issue (and thread).

    The bottom line here is that Comcast is intentional shutting out a large portion of their subscriber base and forcing them to use their own proprietary equiptment (at a charge over the first two) to recieve the same level of service they are getting now. What happens when they decide that they don't want to give out free cable boxes any more?

    They are effectively trying to eliminate the extended basic tier to force everyone to move into their digital packages. This makes more money for them as they will have more people using the guide (and seeing the ads on it) as well as the "On Demand" features. I remember an article (can't seem to find it) that said something like 80% of Comcast's subscribers were on the extended basic service, Comcast makes very little supplimental income off these subscribers so they have come up with a way to force them into a potentially more profitable category.
     
  10. jcaudle

    jcaudle Member

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    I wish my provider (Cox) would get rid of analogs and go digital. The analog quality sucks and it takes bandwidth better used for more HD channels. Nine televisions? Sounds like overkill....of course some people have 6 or 7 tivos. I had 3 and canceled the 3rd. Couldn't find enough stuff to to record on it that wasn't duplicating stuff already on the other 2 boxes.
     
  11. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Zimm: You could take it to the Supreme Court, on ground that it violates the Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing extended basic cable television.

    :rolleyes:
     
  12. cramer

    cramer Member

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    The issue isn't with subscribers being able to see them without a CC. It's that non-subscribers will be able to see them too. The great thing about digital cable is channels can be enabled and disabled individually without having to send someone out to change a line filter. In practice, however, the greedy, grubby little b*****ds tend to screw things up royally everytime someone walks past the equipment requiring a tech to come out and replace your CC (at $49.95 per hour.)

    I've always been amazed at how lame and backwards cable systems still are in today's world. It's like someone has to go in the back room and move wires around to change anything. And I know it's as simple as clicking a mouse. (I've run Cisco's CMTS software once -- just to see if sucks as badly as other cisco management apps -- it's on par, btw.) With DTV (and DISH), you can go to a web page to turn channels on and off nearly instantly without involving any human at all (beyond me.) And it's been like that for over a decade. (In fact, it works so well, DTV had to change the system because too many people were turning on HBO right before Soprano's and turning back off at the end -- pro-rated HBO by the hour which brings it from $12 per month to $0.07 per month.)
     
  13. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    I would like to point out one thing.

    HOW the cable companies get their money is really a Moot Point.

    Example... Does it make a difference IF:

    1. I charge $60 for basic cable & provide 5 free cable boxes....

    or..

    2. They charge $20 for basic cable and then charge $10 for every box over the first one.
    (5 boxes on this system would still cost $60)

    Option 1 they get $60 from everyone. Option 2 They only get $60 for those who need that many boxes!

    People who have 9 TV's are NOT the norm and should have to pay extra. You don't want to pay extra to have 9 TV's then don't buy extra TV's! Geez.

    TWC in Dallas/Fort Worth will be dropping their ANALOG cable by the end of 2010. However they will provide 3 (THREE) cable converter boxes at NO charge. You want extra boxes they will cost $5 a peice. The First DVR will cost $14.95. Each addictional DVR will cost $9. Other than the cost of the boxes, there won't be any "Outlet" fee. You will just be required to have a box &/or DVR to get cable service.

    TGC

    However... if you really think about it. If you have TiVo's you won't have to pay anything extra to the Cable Company. Although... You do have to pay PER TiVo to TiVo... Example... Month to month for TiVo is $13 for first Tivo... $7 for each additional TiVo up to a total of 5. So even TiVo has LIMITS!
     
  14. Slime

    Slime New Member

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    Comcast Seattle are offering up to 5 free digital to analog 'free' conversion boxes per household - they are small cable boxes with only coax output, so you tune your current TV into channel 3 or 4 and then use the new digital free box to get all your channels between 30 and 99.

    I talked to a Comcast service tech who was extremely helpful and even went and got one of the boxes so she could tell me what outputs it had. Not a great solution, but it is free.
     
  15. Zimm

    Zimm New Member

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    That is interesting. The article I posted in the OP says that they are only going to provide the first 2 converters for free and the rest will be $1.99. If they are actually going to provide 5 free that would not be too bad.
     
  16. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    DTAs aren't going to help you with HD TiVos. They're rudimentary cable STBs with SD analog outputs and no guide.
     
  17. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I think folks are confusing DTAs with TAs. :)
     
  18. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    A and B are both going to happen, IMO. For A, they're going to put expanded basic SD channels in the clear (but not the HD versions, apparently). The DTA's they're providing do not have encryption enabled because they have to petition the FCC for a waiver on them, I think. So they're just doing a clear QAM to analog conversion, and a DTV with a QAM tuner should get the same channels without a box.
    For B, they'll have plenty of bandwidth to divvy up HD channels after the migration.
     
  19. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    No one is talking about tuning adapters in this thread, the discussion is about DTA's and STB's as part of Comcast's digital migration. Comcast is not going the SDV route, which is good for us.
     
  20. oversight

    oversight New Member

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Good grief, get over it already. The world has been in a digital transition for a couple of decades now, it's long past time to accept the fact that even the archaic cable companies are going to do the same, just as Satellite and fios have done. Personally, I'm pleased b/c I want that bandwidth opened up for new HD content.
     

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